Betty Ann Scott stayed at our church’s women’s emergency shelter for a while this winter. She had medical problems, mental illness and an addiction disorder. Shelter staff and volunteers reached out for help for Betty Ann. At a special dinner marking the close of the winter shelter this past week, residents paused to remember Betty Ann, who died shortly after leaving Grace’s shelter and being placed in a community-based residential program for the homeless mentally ill. The News & Record’s Lorraine Ahearn writes about mental health reform, Betty Ann’s death, and the system that failed to protect her:
“Mentally ill, addicted to pain pills, homeless at 53, Betty Ann Scott went through jail, hospitals, rehab, every place but where she wound up the afternoon of Feb. 15.
For once, her hospital stay would be long — 15 days. But there is no treatment here, and the room temperature is 42 degrees in this part of Moses Cone Hospital: the county morgue, where Scott was dead on arrival after a suspected drug overdose…”